Community Corner: 49er visit, a christening and Jesus Christ Superstar

Community Corner: 49er visit, a christening and Jesus Christ Superstar

Michele Ellson

The San Francisco 49ers' McLeod Bethel-Thompson tosses a football with third graders at Franklin Elementary. Photo by Taggart Gorman.

Updated at 9:11 a.m. Wednesday, February 5 to correct address for fire boat christening.

Third grade students at Franklin Elementary School got a special visit from a member of the San Francisco 49ers football team on Friday. Backup quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson stopped by to talk to the students about his efforts to raise money to rebuild a school in El Salvador and to offer free sports clinics to youths there. The project will be managed by Glasswing International, a nonprofit aid group working in Central America whose initiatives include “My School, My Space,” which performs “extreme school makeovers” in an effort to provide safe learning spaces and to steer them away from gangs. Bethel-Thompson and a group of friends working with him on the project have launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $5,000 for a makeover in La Libertad, a port town whose school serves 530 children in kindergarten through 11th grade. Teacher Deborah Meyer, who is Bethel-Thompson’s cousin, brought him in for the presentation. After his talk, students had the chance to ask Bethel-Thompson about his plans, conditions in El Salvador and his life as a major leaguer before tossing footballs with him in a nearby park.

Young thespians from the First Presbyterian Church in Caldwell, New Jersey will perform the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” at 7:30 p.m. February 15 at First Congregational Church, 1912 Central Avenue. Admission is free, but a love offering is requested; the money will be used to establish a Peace Village in Alameda and to support the church’s music program. Childcare will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The show, which features nearly three dozen teens who are members of the New Jersey church’s Westminster Choir, is part of a seven-day tour of the Bay Area. The tour is an annual tradition dating back to 1988 that has seen the group performing a number of different shows; this is the group’s fourth visit to California.

Mayor Marie Gilmore is set to christen the city’s new fire boat in a ceremony to be held on February 13. The boat was purchased with the aid of federal port security money. The event will begin at 10 a.m. at Alameda Marina, 2033 Clement Avenue, Gate 5 and will be attended by city staff and representatives from a list of other agencies.

The city is conducting a pair of surveys to gauge your views on parking in Alameda's two Main Street shopping districts. The parking meter surveys, for the Park Street and Webster Street business districts, will take an estimated three minutes each to answer and ask questions about how participants commute to the shopping districts, how they feel about the city's current parking meter and lot rates and what technologies they might want to use to pay for parking. The surveys will be live through March 2 and can be taken on the city's website; anyone with additional questions can call assistant engineer Alan Ta at 747-7946 or e-mail him at